The  Dance  of  the  Dead


Bone  by  Bone  forms  the  Skeleton


Giuseppe Santomaso, Memento Mori

Santomaso, Giuseppe (1907 Venice 1990). Memento mori. The bone in the ground. Color lithograph. Inscribed in pencil: 17/100 / Santomaso ’64. 21½ × 14⅝ in (54.5 × 37 cm).

On Rives hand-made paper. – Drystamp ERKER-PRESSE. – Santomaso was founding member of “Fronte Nuovo delle arti”. Connections with Braque, Léger, Morandi. Developing on an abstract Hermetism, here, however, representionally pictorial-fine. Professor at the Academy Venice. Numerous international exhibitions.

Offer no. 14,548 / EUR  930. / export price EUR  884. (c. US$ 1069.) + shipping

William Hogarth, Anatomy

The  Sitting  of  the  Anatomical  Department

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Reward of Cruelty. The body of the executed monster Tom Nero handed over to the anatomy which itself works perfectly. The full professor personally chairs the taking to pieces, while the sterilization of skulls and bones front left can be left to itself. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Novr. 1st. 1807. Image size 6⅝ × 5⅜ in (16.8 × 13.8 cm).

The Four Stages of Cruelty IV. – Cook’s smaller version without the 12-lined caption. – Of fine chiaroscuro. – Trimmed within the in its outer part slightly age-marked wide white platemark.

Hogarth’s  gorgeously  detailed  depiction  of  anatomy :

“ Behold the Villain’s dire disgrace! / Not Death itself can end. / He finds no peaceful Burial-Place; / His breathless Corse, no friend.

Torn from the Root, that wicked Tongue, / Which daily swore and curst! / Those Eyeballs, from their Socket’s wrung; / That glow’d with lawless Lust!

His Heart, expos’d to prying Eyes, / To Pity has co Claim: / But, dreadful from his Bones shall rise, / His Monument of shame. ”

Left and right in wall niches the prepared skeletons of the boxer James Field hanged up already earlier and the highwayman MacLeane resp. The latters – Lichtenberg annotates drily – stand there like bearers of the emblem of the medical faculty on which both are pointing. This coat of arms over the president’s chair serving to the latter’s dignified head just as a crown consists of a hand feeling another the pulse. And indeed in a very graceful way with the small finger. Ireland annotates in this connection that a hand taking a guinea – the ordinary fee for a consultation – would be suited better for the learned faculty. – Together with sheets 1-3 as the complete set. – See the complete description.

Offer no. 14,404 / EUR  390. / export price EUR  371. (c. US$ 449.) + shipping


(Death, The.) While receiving the sacraments the winged death with hourglass and arrow appears to the dying woman. Engraving. (1679.) 3½ × 2½ in (8.8 × 6.2 cm).

Verso: (The Last Judgement.) Earth breaks up and releases the dead, filled with amazement, gratitude, and – expectation. Engraving as before. – Faint tidemark above the image. There and also outside of the image a larger acid-freely repaired tear with loss of some letters of the general text.

Offer no. 13,085 / EUR  35. (c. US$ 42.) + shipping

Buochs (CH), Charnel-House in. Visitor scenery before the skull shelf. Wood engraving for Adolf Closs (1840 Stuttgart 1894; “at his time one of the best of his profession in Germany”, Thieme-Becker). (1875/77.) 6¼ × 5⅜ in (16 × 13.8 cm).

BACK: Milker of Buochs. Smoking his pipe at the open window. Wood engraving, supposedly after Charles Hermans (Brussels 1839 – Mentone 1924). 6⅛ × 4¼ in (15.5 × 10.8 cm). – On both sides text complete in itself on folklore, especially on the Alpine tradition of the return of the herds.

Offer no. 9,655 / EUR  48. (c. US$ 58.) + shipping

The  Collegium  Medicum  —

as  bearers  of  hope  in  recession

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Consultation of Physicians (Arms of the Undertakers). The Collegium Medicum or the coat of arms of the undertakers. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Jany. 1st. 1809. Subject size 6¾ × 5⅝ in (17.1 × 14.2 cm).

William Hogarth, Arms of the Undertakers

Cook’s smaller version without the 6-lined caption of this brilliant guild arms with the device Et plurima mortis imago. Representing the last hope of the undertakers in bad times – the physicians. – Trimmed within the wide platemark and especially in its upper margin somewhat time-spotted. – See the complete description.

Offer no. 8,929 / EUR  125. (c. US$ 151.) + shipping

“ The  Great  Sheet  of  Dance  Macabre ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Dance Macabre. Circular chain dance of nine women & skeletons around opened casket with two skeletons within and without the churchyard wall as centerpiece. In addition to it, placed back, chapel & charnel-house (?) along with walls. In the corners the Fall of Man – Golgotha – Eternal life & Purgatory , between two text-cartouches. In the outer field surrounded by 12 medallions together with text-cartouches for the dance of the men, separated by 8 (6 varying) vanitas attributes. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iacob Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger excud. Aug. Vindel., otherwise as following. 25¾ × 18⅞ in (65.3 × 48 cm).

Th.-Stillfried + Schwarz 1428. – Illustration in L’Art Macabre 2, Yearbook of the European Dance Macabre Society, Dusseldorf 2001, within the contribution here “The Vanitas Symbolism with Joh. El. Ridinger”.

State II (of II?) as the copy in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung Munich, too. – The copies Stillfried, Schwarz and that of the sale Counts Faber-Castell (1958 as

Johann Elias Ridinger, Dance Macabre

“ The  great  sheet  of  Dance  Macabre / Main sheet ”)

not fixable in their states based on their descriptions. However, the one presented by Patrick Pollefeys on the internet proves to be the earlier, currently suppoesedly first state.

Not in Thienemann and in Dresden, see below, missing in the ample stocks of Weigel (1857) , Coppenrath (1889/90) , Wawra (1890) , Helbing (1900) , Rosenthal (1940) , and others more.

Typographic & figurative watermark. – Above and on the right fine small margin almost throughout, on the left and below predominantly trimmed on the platemark here 1.5 cm wide anyhow. – Upper half laid by old onto wide-margined laid paper per corner-montage, one of which loosened, causing a repaired tear. Practically not impeding centerfold.

The  very  fine  copy  in  respect  of  printing  +  condition

of a cultivated collection of nuanced chiaroscuro in all parts. And in such a way

of  greatest  rarity

not only on the market, as documented above, but in general. And indeed already in 1675 the expert von Sandrart numbered “neat impressions” of the velvety mezzotint at only “50 or 60 (!). After that, however, the image acquires polish soon for it does not go deep into the copper”. Corresponding to that Thienemann in 1856 (pp. VIII + 270) :

“ The mezzotints are almost not to be acquired on the market anymore … all worked by or after Joh. El. Ridinger are so rare that they are to be found almost only in some public splendid collections. I have found most of the described ones only in the famous Dresden printroom … ”

Yet not even there the one in question here made known only in 1876 by Count Stillfried. The quotations there not absolutely correct.

The  first  of  the  large-sized  2-sheet  set

with the “Allegory of the Period of Life” as companion piece not present here (Thienemann-St. + Schwarz 1429; illustration of the copy in Augsburg in L’Art Macabre 2 as above)

as  the  culmination  of  Ridinger’s  vanitates

in updated repetition of an anonymous leaflet of the late 16th or early 17th century, in any case “before 1623” as the “demonstrably earliest and best known Dance Macabre illustration of this kind in the German-language area”.

The texts of the cartouches each time in Latin + German versions. – In the centerpiece between Golgotha + Eternal life “Christ’s death has ruined death and returned life” + below between Fall of Man + Purgatory “Death and eternal hellish pain has brought about the sin alone”.

The outer field presents clockwise from 1-12 the stations of the social structure of the great hundrum of the end, in the course of which the status symbols lie disrespectfully on the earth. Only the fool has been left cap and bells and the right grips the wand.

“ Papa. / Pope. … The pope’s power not withstanding death. // Imperator. / Emperor. … The head of the world falls to death. // Rex. / King. … The crowned head not spared by death. // Cardinalis. / Cardinal. … The cardinal I take home, too. // Episcopus. / Bishop. … I lead him to the churchyard. // Dux. / Duke. … Maybe gentleman or prince at last a dead man. // Comes. / Count. … Whether count or servant death be in the right. // Nobilis. / Nobleman. … No noble blood is too good for death. // Civis. / Citizen. … No man here has a lasting place. // Rusticus. / Peasant. … The farmer must under death’s foot, too. // Mendicus. / Beggar. / Miles. Soldier. … Soldier, beggar equally have to stand. // Stultus. Fool. / Enfans. Child. … Child and fools together belong to my kingdom. ”

The  grand  sheet  of  richest  thematic  here  present  for  the  first  time .

See the complete description.

Offer no. 28,933 / price on application

At  Play  at  the  Open  Grave …

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Idle ‘Prentice at Play in the Church Yard, during Divine Service. Tom Idle with shoeshine and two further guys on a coffin besides an open grave. Accordingly forcible the beadle reprimands them their wicked doings. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Design’d by Wm. Hogarth / Plate 3. / Engraved by T. Cook. / Published by T. Cook No. 11 Little Britain, & G. G. & J. Robinsons No. 25 Pater Noster Row, Octr. 1st. 1795. 11¼ × 14⅜ in (28.6 × 36.5 cm).

William Hogarth, Idle 'Prentice at Play

Industry & Idleness III. – Marvelous impression on buff paper. In its downright luxuriously wide white margin a few weak foxing spots and upper right slight tidemark. Beyond that – contrary to all later Hogarth editions – in the original size. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker). – See the complete description.

Offer no. 7,530 / EUR  373. / export price EUR  354. (c. US$ 428.) + shipping

– – – The same in engraving by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840, university engraver there). Inscribed: W. Hogarth inv & pinx. / Pl. 3. / Riepenhs. f. 8⅞ × 11 in (22.5 × 28 cm). – On slightly toned minor paper. – Riepenhausen’s engravings after Hogarth (“very estimable”, Nagler) belong to his chief work and are partly even preferred to Hogarth’s own engravings.

Offer no. 5,645 / EUR  76. (c. US$ 92.) + shipping

… but  finally  even  Death  has  had  his  Last  Dance

William Hogarth, Tail Piece

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). Tail Piece or The Bathos or manner of Sinking, in Sublime Paintings, inscribed to the Dealers in Dark Pictures. The end of Everything. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). 1798. Inscribed: Designed by W. Hogarth. / Engraved by T. Cook. / Published by G. G. & J. Robinson Pater-noster Row December 1st. 1708. (recte 1808), otherwise as above. 13⅜ × 14½ in (34 × 36.7 cm).

Hogarth catalogue of the Tate Gallery, 1971/72, 222, + Hogarth catalogue Zurich, 1983, 94, both the Hogarth version of 1764 and with ills.; Christoph Wulf, Dying Time, in Anthropology. A Continental Perspective, 2013, p. 133, ill. 5.1 (this copy). – Extensive caption with – besides verses by Tacitus and Maximus Tyrius – important reference to Analysis of Beauty.

“ Rarely  an  artist  has  said  goodbye  to  the  world  that  movingly ”

(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Nov. 8, 1997).

It is Hogarth’ last graphic work, seven months before his death. Artistically a recourse to Salvator Rosa the title is based on Pope’s poetical counterpart “Peri Bathous” as itself “a parody of Longinus’ ‘Peri Hypsous’”.

The scenery itself of an unheard of radicalism. Since also and especially those attributes otherwise signaling the ending of the times are affected by the ruin: Scythe and hourglass are broken here as are crown, pipe, palette, bottle, bell, the pub “The Worlds End” with the burning globe as its plate, the church as several other symbols of Vanitas. The clock lost its hands, the trees are as dead as the hanged man – and Phoebus in the burning celestial chariot together with his horses tumbling down to the bottomless abyss.

To crown it all Saturn himself as god of the time – the winged death – as of the wealth founded by agriculture breathes his last “Finis” while his last will – witnessed by the three Fates Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos – slips from his hand: All and every Atom there of to Chaos. Shortly “H. Nature Bankrupt”.

With the exception of the man in the thin crescent of the decreasing moon who still seems to be alive a bit. As also the gallows are standing fast. To increase the bathos a few puns have been mixed in the whole mess: a cobbler’s end and last resp., a rope’s end, and the candle’s end.

Wonderful, only slightly later copy of brilliant chiaroscuro and adequately broad margins and freshness of this fine print by Cook who “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker). As the only one of the posthumous editions he stuck to the original size. – With watermark “1811 W Balston”; cf. the double mark “J Whatman & W Balston 1813” Heawood 117. – In the right far margin two small slight tidemarks. The partial little foxing on the back perceptible quite minimally in just two spots in the heaven’s part. – See the complete description.

Offer no. 7,545 / EUR  291. / export price EUR  276. (c. US$ 334.) + shipping

– – – The same as engraving by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840, engraver at the university there and friend of Gottfried August Bürger’s). (1794-1835.) Inscribed: 44 / W. Hogarth inv. / R. d sc f. 8½ × 9¾ in (21.5 × 23.5 cm).

Early impression with distinct plate tone and extremely wide lateral margins. – Also the pure picture only. With respect to the wide lower plate margin it seems the lower margin’s arrangement was intended yet never done. Later the plate was trimmed below accordingly (cf. no. 12,144).

Riepenhausen’s Hogarth edition (“very estimable”, Nagler) is his main work, the plates of which partly are even preferred to Hogarth’s engravings.

Offer no. 7,740 / EUR  125. (c. US$ 151.) + shipping

– – – The same in lithography by C. F. Heintz. (1833-36.) Inscribed: 34. / Das Ende aller Dinge (The End of all Things) / lith. C. F. Heintz, otherwise as above. 8⅛ × 8⅛ in (20.5 × 20.7 cm).

Also the pure picture only, but with extensive caption à la Lichtenberg in German: “… Only one thing held on – The gallows. It seems also the coming world cannot miss it, so it remains upright anyway …” – The really light foxing visible almost only against the light. – All in all good though not evenly tinted impression.

Offer no. 14,087 / EUR  87. (c. US$ 105.) + shipping

  1. Almost 240 years later, Robert Murray will title chapter XV of The Decline and Fall of the American Empire (2002): The Chaos to come.

“ I have now fetched the parcel and I am very satisfied. Its a good copy and I think it is telling a lot about Ekeman Alleson … Thank you for good envelope around it and for good service! ”

(Mrs. G. H., March 7, 2005)